Conversion Therapies – An Expression of Torment
University Law College, Bangalore University, India.
Volume II – Issue II, 2020
Persons who identify themselves as Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders or Intersex (LGBTI) are subjected to hate-motivated violence, discrimination and oppression in all regions of the world. They are secluded, forced to live in isolation and deprived of participation in the mainstream society. The root cause of such rejection of the community is the presumption that LGBTI people are sick, mentally ill or abnormal. For centuries, it has been iterated that LGBTI people need to be “cured” or “fixed” off their homosexuality and convert to heterosexual or cisgender. Through this article, the author throws light upon the various harmful practices carried on under the term “conversion therapies”. Despite the fact that these practices have no scientific basis and have proven ineffective, these practices are widely perpetrated by both State as well as non-State actors in various regions across the world. By means of this article, the author tries to explain and elaborate the meaning of conversion therapies and the nature of the wide range of practices followed under the term. The author also tries to draw attention towards the consequences of such practices which result in extreme pain and suffering, both physically and psychologically, which include feelings of self-disgust, depression and suicidal thoughts. Although it is the obligation of the States to prohibit and repeal laws that allow the unethical practices of conversion therapy, several States continue to propagate them. “Conversion therapies” are inherently discriminatory and amount to torture, cruel and inhuman treatment of the individuals belonging to the LGBTI community. The practices of conversion therapy have not only proven to be extremely harmful and torturous, but also encourage further stigmatization of the LGBTI community. Through this article, the author implies the importance of and the urgent need to criminalize the practice of conversion therapy.